Seared Tuna Salad with Wasabi Vinaigrette


Seared Tuna Salad with Wasabi Vinaigrette 

From Bobby Flay

Four and a half years ago I threw my very first dinner party.  I had just graduated college and was living by myself at my parent’s new condo in downtown Chicago.  I must have been pretty dead set on throwing that party, because if I recall correctly the condo was so brand-spanking-new that it wasn’t even fully furnished yet.  Among the missing furniture was a kitchen table, which makes current-me wonder what past-me was thinking throwing a dinner party (but I could waste a lot of time dwelling on such questions, so let’s move on).  I ultimately served this a beautiful seared tuna salad on a black bed sheet spread over the coffee table with everyone sitting on the floor around it to eat.  (Talk about easy-to-please guests – I should throw dinner parties for 22 year olds more often!)

Four and a half years later, I don’t remember many more details about that night, and frankly I had nearly forgotten about it altogether.  But I was hanging out with one of my lucky guests the other day and she mentioned that my little dinner party had turned her on to seared tuna for life.  It made me realize how long it had been since I made seared tuna, so I dug through my recipe archives and John and I whipped up that very same dish the next night.  We ate it at the dining room table this time, but it still had all the charm of my dinner party back in 2007.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi paste (or wasabi powder reconstituted into paste with water, which is what we usually do)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus additional for brushing tuna
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tuna steaks (6-oz each) (make sure you get high quality tuna, since you’re pretty much eating it raw – we usually go to a fish market for this dish, but Whole Foods would work too)
  • 4 cups salad greens (we used baby arugula, which was really nice – I would recommend something with character, maybe a little peppery spice – definitely NOT iceberg or even Romaine – avoid watery greens)
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped

Preparation

  1. Whisk together vinegar, wasabi paste, and oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  2. Heat grill or grill pan to medium high.
  3. Brush steaks with oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill for 30 seconds on each side, just to obtain grill marks (use your discretion, I like tuna really raw and freaked out and made John flip them at like 15 seconds).
  5. Thinly slice tuna, against the grain.
  6. Place one cup of salad greens on each plate.  Top with avocado, tomatoes, tuna and dressing.

Serves 4.

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